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Olympic wrestling champs greet IOC in Tokyo

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Three-time Olympic wrestling champs Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho of Japan greeted the IOC evaluation commission Wednesday in Tokyo as the city is scouted and scrutinized for its potential as the 2020 Olympics host.

The two women hope to bring the Games to their hometown for the first time since 1964, and also hope their sport – Japan’s third most popular – will still exist as part of the Olympics program when those Games roll around in seven years time.

They met the commission at the Tokyo Bay complex where fencing, taekwondo, and, if they get their way, wrestling, would take place in 2020.

Wrestling was recommended for removal last month by the IOC executive committee, but the international wrestling federation is prepping a presentation before the committee votes in May that will determine which sports will be presented to the IOC for a final vote in September.

“I don’t have a vote, but I would at least like to go to the presentation,” Yoshida, who won gold at the last three Summer Olympics, told the AP. “The only thing I can do is pray that wrestling stays in.”

President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

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President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Obama opened his speech by saying that he had planned on doing a floor routine with Simone Biles, before ultimately deciding that the room was too crowded. First Lady Michelle Obama interjected to remind the crowd that her husband “can’t touch his toes.”

The President then singled out the athletic accomplishments of Olympians including Biles, Michelle Carter, Simone Manuel, Claressa Shields, Kristin Armstrong, Kim Rhode, Allyson Felix, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

He also recognized: Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, Sam Kendricks, the U.S. Army reservist who put down his pole and stood at attention when the national anthem started playing, Will Claye, who proposed to U.S. hurdler Queen Harrison after winning an Olympic silver medal, and Abbey D’Agostino, who helped an opponent to her feet after a crash.

“That is exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about,” Obama said about the sportsmanship of D’Agostino.

The President was particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the female athletes.

“2016 belonged to America’s women Olympians,” Obama said. “Y’all crushed it.”

Watch Obama’s full speech here.

After Obama’s speech, Biles presented him with a surfboard autographed by the Olympians in attendance.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama said.

MORE: Photos of Team USA at the White House

Photos: Team USA at the White House

Twitter: @TeamUSA
Twitter: @TeamUSA
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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Below are some of the best photos of Team USA from inside the White House: